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Business in Brief

Published:Friday | September 18, 2015 | 9:00 AM

Canadian company opens large gold mine in Guyana

A Canadian company has opened a large-scale gold mine in a remote section of Guyana.

Toronto-based Guyana Goldfields Inc plans to produce more than three million ounces of gold over the next 17 years at its US$250-million site near the South American country's border with Venezuela.

Production started Wednesday, a day after an opening ceremony with dignitaries including President David Granger. The mine is expected to employ some 500 workers.

Officials say it's the biggest gold mine in Guyana since Omai Gold Mines Limited ceased operations in 2005. That mine was shuttered after waste overflowed into a nearby dam and caused an environmental disaster.

Gold is Guyana's main export and generated nearly US$1 billion in revenue in 2013. But earnings have since dropped because of weaker gold prices.

American poverty numbers hold steady

The number of Americans living below the poverty line showed no statistical difference from the previous year, according to new numbers from the United States Census Bureau.

In 2014, the poverty rate in the United States was 14.8 per cent. While slightly higher than 2013's 14.5 per cent, census officials said the slight difference means there was no statistical change from the previous year. The poverty rate had dropped in 2013 from 15 per cent in 2012, the first such dip since 2006.

In 2014, a family with two adults and two children was categorised as in poverty if their income was less than US$24,008.

There were 46.7 million people in poverty, which was statistically similar to the previous four years. The information was released in a new report on Wednesday.

New iPhones get enviro-friendly upgrade

Apple has given its latest iPhones an environmental upgrade to go along with a better camera and a few new features.

The world's biggest technology company says the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have reduced their carbon emissions by 14 to 16 per cent from last year's models. The estimates are based on measurements that quantify how much pollution is caused during the production, distribution, consumer usage and recycling of the devices.

Most of the improvements reflect changes made in the purchasing and manufacturing of the aluminium used in the iPhone enclosures. Lisa Jackson, Apple's top environmental executive, says carbon emissions tied to the production of those iPhone enclosures have been cut in half from last year.

The new phones are scheduled to be in stores on September 25.